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From the Archive

Queens Park Ambassadors: Tom and Midge Hayes

The pavilion, 2018

Tom and Midge's eldest son, Noel Hayes, leading the march, 1955

This photo of Tom and Midge takes pride of place at the pavilion

Tom and Midge Hayes, 1974

Football at Queens Park 1970s

In the stands at Queens Park

Saturday sport Ambulance Officer in action

From the early 1940s, lunch and afternoon tea for players and guests at Waverley’s home ground at Queens Park was organised by Tom and Midge Hayes. Tom, a local Bondi butcher, would cook the barbeque for the 1st XI during cricket season and Midge organised the Mothers’ Committee to provide food and refreshments. Additionally, Midge would oversee special functions held by the school community. Her infamous homemade custard pies inspired the 1st XV’s victory song, which is still sung today.

At the Old Boys’ Union dinner in late 1938 it was announced that a pavilion fund would be established to build facilities at Queens Park “in order to improve and complete the fields in a manner worthy of the College” (The Waverlian, 1938). However, fundraising took longer than anticipated as efforts were instead directed towards a comfort fund to purchase provisions for Old Boy servicemen overseas, and thereafter towards commemorating the dead, culminating in the construction of the War Memorial Chapel and Hall.

Eventually, sufficient funds were secured and in 1951 the first pavilion, Green Gables, was built. Situated under the big Moreton Bay Fig (where Tom and Midge had been operating previously), it served as a function room and as a change room for cricket and rugby. Words of gratitude pour from the pages of The Waverlian publications of the 1950s for the “sumptuous hospitality” of the affectionately named  “Green Gables Girls” and Eastern Suburbs Ambulance Officers, who helped at Queens Park every Saturday.

Green Gables stood until late August 1960, when it was destroyed by vandals who burnt it down on their fourth attempt. All of the photographs and trophies therein were lost and the arsonists were never caught.

Construction of a new pavilion began immediately, designed by architect Neville Anderson and built by Geoffrey McCabe who were both Waverley Old Boys. Now situated on the southern hillside of the park, directly opposite the Fig tree, the building was completed in 1962 for a total cost of £23,000. It was officially opened by Mr Justice Hardie on 4 March and a commemorative game of cricket was held. Richie Benaud, the then Australian captain and NSW captain, brought twelve Sheffield Shield players to combine with twelve Waverley students in a celebratory match. Benaud captained one side and legendary left-arm fast bowler Alan Davidson the other.

In 1985 it was named the T&M Hayes Pavilion in honour of Tom and Midge, the ‘heart and soul’ of Waverley sport days. The couple had continued volunteering tirelessly until Tom’s death in 1985 and Midge’s relocation to Gloucester in 1988.

In 2002, Headmaster Brother Wallace commenced plans for the refurbishment of the pavilion. This included plastering the brick walls, installing new carpet, ceiling and lights and a new kitchen.